As amusing as that may sound, groundhogs are actually large burrowing squirrels.
They are notoriously skittish creatures, so unlike tree squirrels, they will avoid pets and people at all costs. Groundhogs threaten your home not from within, but from beneath it.
Groundhogs can also be a serious problem in yards, especially if you have a garden. To keep groundhogs out of your garden, a fence at least a foot underground is required.
Furthermore, when cornered in the wild, groundhogs are notoriously aggressive. If you try to remove a groundhog from your property by hand, it will bite you. Contacting a professional is your best bet.
The groundhog is known by many different names, including woodchuck, ground pig, whistler, thick wood badger, and land beaver. It is a rodent that is closely related to squirrels and can be found throughout North America.
Groundhogs, unlike other marmots, live in lowlands rather than rocky or mountainous areas. The groundhog, like their close relatives the beavers, is an important habitat engineer whose activities contribute to healthy soils in North America’s plains and woodlands.
Groundhogs, on the other hand, are considered agricultural pests because their burrowing activities can be a major nuisance in farms and gardens.
A groundhog in the wild will typically live to be about six years old. When fully grown, they typically weigh six to eight pounds. They are mostly diurnal, which means they are awake during the day and sleep mostly at night.
Groundhogs are voracious diggers, digging tunnels with up to fifty feet of tunnel spacing. They hibernate and raise their families in their burrows, among other uses. They have been found to move more than 700 pounds of dirt while making these dens.
Because of the amount of digging and burrowing these mammals do, they can cause significant property damage and even damage to building foundations when they dig too close to structures.
Groundhogs prefer to live in open areas where they have easy access to vegetation and other food sources. They prefer soft ground that is conducive to the construction of dens and burrows. A groundhog tunnel can have five or more entrances and exits, allowing multiple groundhogs to use it as an escape.
These mammals have been known to shuffle up a tree to survey their surroundings or to take a quick swim when necessary, but they prefer to live in open areas where they can easily forage and find vegetables to eat.
Although the majority of groundhogs still live in wild areas, this type of habitat has declined in recent decades, resulting in more groundhogs being displaced and forced to adapt to new environments and food sources.
Groundhogs require a reasonable area to forage in order to survive, and the small gardens and lack of burrowing areas mean they rarely survive in dense urban areas. This has limited their population growth, resulting in groundhogs being less common than rats, raccoons, and other species found in urban areas.
They are more common in suburban areas, where gardens and yards are larger, and many people maintain a vegetable garden, which provides excellent forage for the groundhog.
These animals can become a real problem, and because they are larger rodents, the population of suburban groundhogs is frequently regarded as a major issue for people.
Due to their herbivorous nature, these mammals consume berries and other plants that grow in gardens as well as grasses. For this reason, these creatures usually establish themselves close to a residential garden, as they can benefit from it greatly.
Beetles, snails, and grubs are among the insects they will also consume.
Although it happens less frequently than with other mammals in their family group, they are occasionally known to consume small mammals. While they do not conceal their food in caches like other animals do, they do have a tendency to enjoy eating nuts.
One of the most frequent queries about this adorable mammal is whether or not it is aggressive.
Attacks by groundhogs on people are uncommon. They will typically hide inside the holes if you follow them. They may also hide in the woods if they believe they are in danger. They will probably even swim away from the aggressor to a safer area if they come across water.
The fear that these little animals are feeling is already evident. Therefore, their chances of attacking people are very slim. However, occasionally you will also find them attacking people: If they believe you are attacking them because of their babies, or if they believe their babies’ lives are in danger, they will attack you.
Groundhogs can dig much larger tunnels than moles or voles because they are larger animals. They can dig tunnels up to 12 inches wide, to be precise.
Large tunnels in your yard, usually near a tree, fence, or building foundation, indicate a groundhog infestation. These tunnels will be accompanied by substantial soil mounds. The following are common signs of a groundhog infestation:
Even if you don’t see any signs of an infestation, you should contact a groundhog removal specialist if you suspect something is wrong since groundhogs can be really dangerous for your home.
While groundhogs, like other rodents, are not a major source of infectious disease to humans, they can carry rabies on occasion. Any unprovoked attack should be treated as a potential rabies exposure.
The most important thing to do to get rid of groundhogs is to make your property less appealing to them and to minimize damage. The following are the steps you should take:
Keep your yard in good shape to avoid nesting: Remove any piles of wood, brush, rocks, or other debris that could be used as a den site. Groundhogs will build a nest out of any yard debris they can find.
Maintaining a clean lawn free of wood or leaf piles and garbage can assist homeowners in preventing these rodents from nesting in the first place.
Close all access points: Groundhogs may also burrow beneath homes or garages; if there is an existing groundhog nest in the yard, homeowners should fill in any holes and block off the area to prevent them from returning.
That is why, you should make sure that all garage and shed doors are closed to prevent entry, particularly those with dirt floors. Also, close any gaps that allow access beneath porches, decks, crawl spaces, or sheds.
Use repellents to keep them at bay: Although there aren’t any commercial chemical repellents made especially for groundhogs, you could try using products made for other rodents instead. Another option for dog owners is to sprinkle dog urine or fur around the groundhog’s nest to indicate that predators are nearby.
For the same purpose, bobcat urine can also be purchased from hardware or home improvement stores, and it might even work better.
Scare groundhogs away from their burrows: Making a groundhog’s home uninhabitable can force the animal to leave.
While scarecrows and pinwheels are effective in the short term, they rarely provide long-term relief because the critters become accustomed to them. In the long run, auditory and tactile tools are more effective at scaring away groundhogs and other digging pests.
Install fencing to keep groundhogs from returning: Woodchuck damage can be reduced with fencing. However, precautions must be taken to avoid climbing. Perimeter fences must be at least 3 feet tall and 12 inches underground. To discourage groundhogs from climbing over the fence, bend the top 15 inches at an angle.
Keep in mind that capturing and removing a wild animal is not an easy task. That is why it is safe to say that your best bet would be to seek professional help.
With the skills necessary to deal with insects and other creatures, Titan Pest Control is a full-service pest control and extermination business that serves Northern New Jersey and the surrounding areas of New York City.
Our solid reputation is built on dependability, customer service, and trust. We uphold the industry’s highest standards by expertly combining superior customer service with expert extermination methods.
If you need help keeping your home pest-free or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.